Osa North Lets the Music Breath on Osa North and The Holy Spirit of God EP

Osa North is back with his new Osa North and The Holy Spirit of God EP and he is serving up a diverse array of sounds on this one. The project kicks off with the soulful trackFree You, which serves as a sensual ode to intimacy. North’s vocals on this track are layered in such a way that they carry a sense of divinity as if he is calling down from the heavens above. The instrumental here is rhythmic yet spacious and Osa North does a brilliant job of filling in that space with his vocal delivery.

The 2nd track Debbz is a logical continuation of where Free You left off. North once again is crooning about that special someone, asking the listener if they have ever been in love. The instrumental here sounds more epic with soaring string sections and a sense of rhythmic pulse that build momentum by the end of the track. Osa North is showing more and more musicality with each project he brings to the table.

There is a drastic switch up on the third track 1900. Instead of building on the soulful airiness of the first two tracks, North comes out of left field with a menacing trap banger. The instrumental here is bleak and unforgiving while North oozes with confidence on the mic. The closing track Adesuwa is a dance hall jam reminiscent of something off of his Ginjah EP. The instrumental possesses the contagious sense of rhythm that has become a hallmark of North’s music and his vocals here are vivacious and full of color.

Even though Osa North and The Holy Spirit of God clocks in at just four tracks and eight minutes in length, North is in no rush to get to the finish line. There is an endearing sense of patience on this EP. The instrumentals have an airy, almost ethereal quality to them, and North spaces out his vocals in such a way that he is content in letting the music speak for itself. The marriage between these two elements make for another fantastic project from Osa North.

“Osa North and The Holy Spirit of God” is now available on all platforms.

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Musa Reems Turns Back the Clock with Dear Winter

Musa Reems is back with his new single entitled Dear Winter and he has taken initiative in turning back the clock on this one. Putting his own spin on the Jay-Z classic Dear Summer, Musa has added his name to the list of MC’s who have spat their game over this iconic Just Blaze produced beat. A list which includes names such as Lupe Fiasco, Lil Wayne, Young Jeezy and so many more. However instead of simply going in over the original cut of the instrumental Reems decided to breathe new life into this classic song, making it sound more current while maintaining its throwback vibe.

Producer Othellobeats took a fresh approach on here. He creates a lot of tension with how he slowly brings in the vocal sample in the beginning of the track and it really sets the stage for Musa when he comes in with his verse. Equally impressive is the way Othellobeats puts his own spin on the instrumental while simultaneously respecting what made it so great in the first place. Despite the clean, thematic feel of the intro, the beat still has the same soulful piano and vocal samples carrying the track. The only difference here is that this re-imagining of it sounds more lively. Like Othellobeats, Musa Reems does his thing on here as well.

Although the song clocks in at just 2 minutes and 18 seconds in length, Musa makes every second count on this one. His bars on here are nostalgic yet hopeful as Musa shows himself to be someone who can handle anything life throws their way. He approaches his lyrics with a staggering amount of transparency, showing that he is more than happy to own up to past mistakes. Reems’ delivery is also worthy of note here. He carries a sharp grittiness in his voice that shows the authenticity of a man truly marked by past experiences. Not phased by what anyone might think Musa Reems shows on this track that he is embracing his flaws as a human, wearing his war wounds on full display.

There is an interesting duality on Dear Winter. While the tasteful re-imagining of this song makes it sound like it could be on an upcoming project. Dear Winter still possesses enough vintage aesthetic at its core that it almost sounds like it could have been on a DJ Drama mixtape in the mid 2000’s. This duality really shows who Musa Reems is as an artist; a man who has a deep appreciation for the past while simultaneously keeping a close eye towards the future. Time will tell what Musa Reems will bring us next, but Dear Winter is surely a sign of good things to come.

Now available on all platforms.

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RhymSter and Edmur Quinn Capture a Nocturnal Vibe on “Pure Noon”

Ever Evolved MC RhymSter is back again and with a vengeance with his first release of 2019 entitled Pure Noon. This 5-track offering — which includes a bonus track at the end — sees RhymSter and producer Edmur Quinn finding their pocket by utilizing a lo-fi, nocturnal sound.

The EP kicks off with a banger Maintainin where RhymSter takes his listeners to school by flexing his lyrical muscle over a bright and soulful instrumental. However the pace of the EP immediately slows down after with I Will which manifests itself as the perfect soundtrack for a night-time drive soaked in self-reflection. The closing 2 tracks N.Y.S.M. and Wait For It follow in a similar vein before things pick back up again on the bonus track Watch Out.

Lyrically RhymSter is poignant as usual. On the more hard hitting cuts his wordplay is witty and his delivery is sharp. On the slower, more subdued tracks he is more introspective and personal. He shows himself to be a truly multi-faceted artist over the course of these five tracks. On the production side of things Edmur Quinn presents a diverse palette here while simultaneously maintaining the concise cohesiveness of the project. Tracks such as Maintainin’ and Watch Out are hard hitting boom-bap cuts while I Will and Wait For It are much more moody and lo-fi.

The features on here deliver as well. FAFA, who is featured on Wait For It, croons with sincerity over a gorgeous jazzy guitar. JaiTheArtist shows up on the back end of I Will and her vocals sound angelic floating in the background. RhymSter and Edmur Quinn kept it simple on this project. However in between RhymSter’s witty lyricism and Edmur Quinn’s diverse array of instrumentals, their formula proved to be quite effective.

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Mother Nature Keeps It Simple (Music Video)

If you have not heard of the refreshing girl power duo that is Mother Nature go look them up on YouTube right now. Charisma, lyricism, fun, artistic chemistry – these two have all of that. The Chicago native powerhouse duo comprised of emcees Klevah Knox and T.R.U.T.H. dropped the visual to their single Simple, which is from their upcoming 2019 EP titled Pressure. If the rest of their record is anything sonically like this first single Simple, then I think these two talents will really propel themselves forward in 2019!

The visual done by New Trash has the two ladies in black and white checkerboard pants and multi colored tops. They start off performing in front of a changing green screen with kids as their gaffers, directors, cinematographers, and lighting crew! The hook to this song is super catchy: “I do not do what you’re doing, bitch you’re simple!… I am me and you are you, bitch you’re simple!” Then the visual progresses from there with a verse and a bridge from Klevah Knox and a verse from T.R.U.T.H keeping the high energy, fun, and intensity through out. I am excited to hear and see the rest of Pressure from Mother Nature in 2019. They represent something truly positive for hip hop and their image and sound as artists is what I want to be around to write about.

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RhymSter Picks It Up! (Music Video)

Coming back around following his last visual Maintainin’, RhymSter is doing just that with more releases and music videos. Working again with Lonnie Edwards, getting more and more creative with his animations matching RhymSters lyricism. A provocative introduction to start off as the lyrics slowly pick up to a beat drop, the whole project from the beat, lyrics and visuals keeps you fixed the whole way through. Henrik3000 from Germany always follows through with raw production that compliments RhymSters style.

Keeping it going he brings it back to the real world and inside the studio. This time working with videographer and hip hop emcee Mike Booth on the camera catchin’ RhymSter in his natural environment. Under the dim colorful lighting, in the booth and at center console he spits his freestyle; somethin he is well known for on the mic in the underground Chicago hip hop scene. As he shows off his skill and studio aesthetic at Ever Evolved, take this as an invite to work with and at the headquarters with this young emcee and the crew. Expect more projects like these to drop soon!

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Bombay Boyz Turn Up the Lyrical Heat on Pop Off

Witty lyricism, an atmospheric trap beat and a catchy hook. This is the recipe that Chicago Hip-Hop duo Bombay Boyz went for when they teamed up for their brand new single Pop Off which is the first single from their upcoming Jedi East project slated to drop this summer. The beat, which is produced by CT, has an airy and atmospheric vibe. Minimalistic and stripped back, CT does a brilliant job of setting the stage for the MC’s to drop lyrical bombs.

Harrison Maxwell handles the hook on this track and much like the instrumental, it is effective in its simplicity. Catchy and to-the-point, it helps make Pop Off a straight banger; meaning it is the perfect turn-up song to blow the house down at shows. While the beat and hook are effective in their simplicity, the verses are where everything gets turned up a notch. Maxwell and his counterpart Eric Wilhelm leave everything on the table. WRDS even drops by for a feature showing he is every bit as capable on the mic.

In spite of the modern trap feel of the instrumental the way these three MC’s try to one-up each other gives this song a bit of an old school feel. The lyrics here are braggadocios yet all parties involved have the lyrical mastery to back up their boasts. In its essence, this song gets back to what Hip-Hop is at its core; rappers simply throwing on a beat and putting their artistic lives on the line in the fight for lyrical supremacy. Pop Off shows that Bombay Boyz already possess a skill that most artists do not have; their able to craft a song that can rock the party while simultaneously winning over the respect of old heads and traditionalists with complex lyricism and double-time flows.

This duality has always been rare in Hip-Hop, however, Bombay Boyz make it look easy on this track. Not that this should surprise anybody but if Pop Off is any indication, expectations will definitely be high for their upcoming Jedi East project. This should not be a problem for Bombay Boyz due to how effortless they make it look on this new single.

“Pop Off” is now available on Soundcloud, and will be available on all platforms in the coming days.

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BeatrixKiddo Whips Out A Stogie (Music Video)

Applying the name after Kill Bills’ main yellow leather jacketed protagonist, from Chicago Beatrix Kiddo is in the streets just killin’ beats with her latest visual release for her single Stogie, produced by BKR & Josh Petruccio. With lyrics like “Got big grams coming, gotta kick it with the hustle, I’m a big ass bitch I don’t need the fuckin muscle“, you already know she got a tongue as sharp as a swords blade! CVO Films behind the camera as Kiddo sits like a boss with some hitters at her side, always sportin some unique and obscure lens glaring back at you. Nothing off put or out of place this is her natural environment, “Lighting a stogie blunt… middle fingers up not giving a single F*ck”.

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Talkin So Deep With Mohawk Johnson

Connecting with Mohawk Johnson we got to talking about his music and his mission for a brief period of time. Getting into some history and details into his music intent and thought process. Painting a picture of human being going through his woes within his skin and his culture. Alleviating the pressure by fighting for noble causes and ideas through his music and empathetically connecting with listeners in mutual situations.

Within a short period of time from his starting point Mohawk gathered a collection of songs aimed to disseminate social and political constructs and to place awareness on ones mental state. Armed with an EP and music videos he does it again with the release of So Deep. With his words he mocks the typical hotep, breaking down and patronizing their behavior. Over a jazzy and vibrant hip hop beat produced by Shhh, Mohawk’s turns his heckling into a catchy, raw song calling out contradictory artists in his culture.

In our interview Mohawk Johnson breaks it down in a bit more detail with what he means with this song. We also go over his start in music and what motivated him into the industry and how that quickly grew into something different. You will get the idea that he is more ordinary than most artists claim to be, and he speaks it how it is. Connecting effortlessly with and giving voice to the unconnected and the voiceless. Whether it be through his music or social media Johnson fights for his mind and fights for better social conditions with his level and style of awareness.

When did you start rapping/handling the mic?

February 2018

Do you write and/or freestyle?

I write. I can’t freestyle for shit.

What got you to start releasing music?

I wanted my ex girlfriend to notice me and take me back. It didn’t work.

But you have new songs coming in. Did you figure forget it keep goin, did the music grow on you? What were you thinking then?

After I dropped the first EP some people I knew came out and talked to me about being suicidal and that my music inspired them to get help. So I kept making music. There have been people who didn’t care what I had to say but when I say it in songs they hear me. I have a lot to say and music seems to be the only thing that allows people to hear me.

Your profile on bandcamp says you are black and traumatized and you want to put that on display to help other similar people. Would you say your new inspiration is mental health advocacy through your music?

That and other things

Other things like?

Ending racism, tackling poverty, fighting homophobia, etc…

Your newest release so deep takes on a different persona than your other earlier darker tracks.Any particular inspiration or what are u goin for?

I am critiquing hoteps who pretend to be problack but then engage in respectability politics.

Hoteps are?

Black men who pretend to be pro black but engage in respectability politics, homophobia, sexism, able-ism, etc… They don’t want freedom from white supremacy. They want the power to oppress black women.

Do you see alot of this in todays hip hop scene?

Yeah, it’s everywhere. Anytime someone critiques racism and then turns around and calls women hoes for having the same sex we been having

How would you say your music is helping combat this?

I attack it directly through satire. I embody the style like I did in so deep but then I rip their ideology apart.

Can we expect a more socially and politically motivated project similar to how your relapse EP is about the mind?

Absolutely.

Alot of your work is produced by Shhh. How’d you two meet?

My roommate is friends with him. They came to my first show. Shhh volunteered to work with me after that.

Can we be expecting more funk and jazz influenced beats like So Deep as well?

Maybe a few, I don’t know how I feel about it. I don’t do the genre justice.

I have to disagree! I really liked the new track and I think you flowed good in that genre with your style.

If you say so.

Tellin’ it how it is man appreciate you sharing the new music.

Mohawk Johnson | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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ESSSE Guey Has Voices In His Mind (Music Video)

Essse Guey pops out to reinforce a previously released track from his Over the Daze LP picking out a popular track to add some visuals too. Neorevivalist on duty giving V.I.M.M. life with some animated visuals matching the atmosphere of the slow and ominous beat. With a style so smooth he is not afraid to get dark with hooks like “You get left behind, F*** up out my eye, ready to die, Don’t really have a choice, voices in my mind” and “Over mad or under oath only real ones slit they throat, …cross-face, swan dive, head first, there’s a million ways to make another suicide note” and make it work. A timeless track produced by Dead_Air worth giving a double take and a surreal music video following his last for Constellations.

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YOUNG XAV Strives to Overcome His Demons on After Dark

The pain lets me know I’m still alive.

These are the words so beautifully belted out by singer Adam Martinez on the hook of Still Alive, the fourth track off of Chicago MC YOUNG XAV‘s upcoming album entitled After Dark. Although this project cannot be boiled down to just a few words, that lyric serves as a good blueprint for the emotional head space XAV finds himself in throughout the duration of this project. After Dark is a gloomy, lonely trip inside the mind of an individual who has fallen off a mountain of sanity. However the album’s progression marks the story of that same individual getting up, brushing the dust off their clothes, and clawing their way back up to the top.

The cinematic opening track, which is entitled Intro, pulls the listener in from the very beginning. This song sees XAV lose his sense of self identity laying the path for him to find himself all over again. The beat is heroic and empowering as light, feathery piano motifs are sprinkled over a loud, barreling brass section. Lyrically XAV seems to be succumbing to his inner demons on the first half of the album. On cuts such as After Dark and Still Alive XAV paints his struggles with alcoholism, using it as a coping mechanism to silence the demons in his head. The beats on these tracks are dark and moody, and they serve as the perfect complement to the on-the-edge-of-insanity tone of XAV’s lyrics.

The middle of the album is a bit more turnt up, as tracks such as Another Drink and Blaśe are straight up bangers. However the cloud of darkness present earlier in the album still looms close behind. These songs illustrate the dichotomy of drinking to partying while simultaneously not being able to control oneself and XAV does does a beautiful job of painting a vivid portrait of what that looks like.

The interlude track Dear You is another standout on this album and it is a beautiful spoken word piece; seemingly serving as an ode to a lover from years’ past. It transitions seamlessly into the next track Dancing in the Dark, which finds XAV pondering what him and this former flame could have been. For XAV heartbreak is something that consumes his entire being, and he is able to portray that pain in his music with ease.

The back end of this album serves as an indicator that XAV will not go down without a fight. On the song Chasing Dreams XAV speaks on his ambitions to get to the top. The closing track Road to Legend finds XAV reflecting on the people who have come in and out of his life, as well as the changes his life has undergone. As an album After Dark really shines due to the fact that YOUNG XAV is more in touch with his head space than most rappers. Whether he is speaking on his struggles with addiction, heartbreak or his hunger to succeed in music, XAV does a brilliant job of illustrating where he is at mentally.

XAV has not reached the top of the cliff yet, it seems as though he is still clawing his way towards happiness and contentment. His demons might still haunt him from time-to-time, but that does not mean that he is going to let them win. And that is a predicament that almost all of us will find ourselves in at one point or another.

After Dark will be released to all platforms on February 22nd.

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